There are countless well-known quotations about music.
One that I’m particularly fond of is “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music” from writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley.
Despite my being unable to sing a tuneful note or master even the most basic instrument, I’ve been passionately fond of music from an early age.
My trusty ipod is filled with an eclectic mix of classical music, operatic arias, blues, soul, rock, jazz and folk, not to mention a broad selection of what’s nowadays described as world music.
One of the great delights in life is discovering something new, some genre or artist previously not encountered, that throws open a portal to an entirely different area of enjoyment.
Back in my thirties it was the heart-wrenching songs of Melanie Safka, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and Bob Seger that thrilled me.
Later the classically-trained voices of Placido Domingo, Jussi Bjorling, Mirella Freni and Frederica Von Stadt brought a huge adrenaline rush but in recent years
my musical preferences have become more wide-ranging.
The wonderful Cesaria Evora was my introduction to the uplifting music of Cabo Verde, Mercedes Sosa to dark soul of South America, Salif Kieta to the atavistic rhythms of Africa and Marta Sebestyen to the haunting melodies of eastern Europe.
A few years ago I was introduced to the music of the singer whose voice I want to share with you today.
Olivia Chaney’s voice is unforgettable and has that special quality that seizes the attention and refuses to let go.
Three years ago, my wife, Jane, at that time working for the Guernsey Arts Commission, brought Olivia to the island to sing at a poetry and music event in St Peter Port. Her performance was sensational.
Born in Florence, Italy, Olivia grew up in Oxford, studying composition, piano, cello and voice. In 2013 she was nominated for two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Her first solo CD is due out this year. Here’s a preview of what you might find on it.
Click on the links: